By Bob Condor

As the DHB pointed out in a previous entry, Michael Jacobson and other highly engaged folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest have been fighting the good (food) fight for three decades.

They always find something new and important to er, put on our plates.

This past week CSPI served up artificial dyes that still remain in many foods, calling the dyes “the secret shame” of both food manufacturers and federal Food and Drug Administration regulators.

Jacobson explained the food dyes, including Yellow 5 and Red 40 among eight major offenders, are linked in research studies to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children. CSPI officially petitioned the FDA and noted the United Kingdom is already phasing out most of the eight dyes. The other offending dyes are Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 and Yellow 6.

The United Kingdom ban emerged after two recent studies funded by the British government linking the behavioral disruption caused by dyes, plus a common preservative, sodium benzoate. What’s most notable is the British studies cover a general population of children and not just kids whose parents suspect dyes.

Jacobson told the DHB that some parents suspect their children’s hyperactivity is about sugar when artificial dyes might be the true culprit.

“The purpose of these chemicals is often to mask the absence of real food, to increase the appeal of a low-nutrition product to children, or both,” said Jacobson, the long-time executive director of CSPI. “Who can tell the parents of kids with behavioral problems that this is truly worth the risk?”

And if you think, oh, we must be phasing out artificial dyes in our diets to some degree, right? Too many people (especially parents) know about it, right?

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